Skydive Sebastian’s planes fly far above the Atlantic, affording their passengers a chance to drop into Florida's eastern edge near the picturesque swimming cove of Sebastian Inlet. The company's hangar and flock of professional skydivers—some of whom boast more than 16,000 jumps––await flights at a 7-acre facility, where they host first-time tandem skydivers and operate a skydiving school for beginners interested in learning to skydive on their own through the Accelerated Freefall course. Meanwhile, experienced skydivers with a passion for the sport of skydiving can receive independent coaching to keep free-fall skills sharp.
Visitors to Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida get a close look at the state's distinct flora and fauna during thrilling outdoor adventures. The Coach Safari whisks riders on a two-hour open-air jaunt through a 4,700-acre wildlife-conservation area rich with streams and forests. Naturalist guides delve into the natural history of the region's nine ecosystems, which house species including alligators, Florida panthers, and herds of roving photo opportunities. Visitors can also take in sweeping views of the nearby wetlands and their many residents, including countless kinds of birds and white-tailed deer. For equestrian adventurers, safaris on horseback take riders through scenic trails used by Native Americans in the 1500s.
Florida EcoSafaris' EcoPark adds to its Cypress Canopy Cycle adventure-which sends visitors rolling along steel cables in a suspended, pedal-powered cart that doubles as a spy machine for squirrels-with five new and recently renovated zipline adventures. Guests fly high through the air at 30 miles per hour with the Peregrine Plunge and Zipline Safari or leap off 55- or 68-feet platforms during controlled-free-fall adventures. No matter what activity guests participate in, Florida EcoSafaris donates a portion of all proceeds to the Allen Broussard Conservancy, an agency dedicated to the preservation of Florida's ecosystems and wildlife.
Although the 1960s was an era of change, children were still not allowed to pick their own produce at Milwaukee-area farms. This seemingly minor policy was the spark that began Green Meadows Farm, Kissimmee's family-oriented petting farm populated by 300 animals. Bob and Coni Keyes started with a hog and cattle farm in Waterford, Wisconsin. Believing farms were places where kids could learn and interact with animals, the couple converted their 80 acres into a raspberry and veggie patch that also featured a handful of friendly farm animals to welcome kids. The petting farm was born in 1965 when a local teacher asked if her youngsters could drop by to visit the animals and give the roosters mop-top haircuts.
More than 40 years later, the Keyes are still at it. Over the years, their quest to enrich the education of children with a "low-tech" farm experience has taken shape in Texas, Illinois, and Florida. The owners live right on the Green Meadows acreage with their small village of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and other barnyard citizens. Bob and Coni lead hands-on daily tours for visitors and facilitate pony rides, along with a host of other seasonally varied activities offered 363 days a year.
A fog-filled laser tag arena. A bowling alley with 48 computerized lanes. A nine-hole mini-golf course. Superplay USA collects a wide range of family friendly activities inside a 70,000-square foot fun complex. Bowlers can take turns obliterating pins during sessions played by the game or by the hour. Cosmic bowling on Friday and Saturday nights further intensifies the 10-pin action by bathing the alley in black light that makes the lanes glow and reveals which bowling balls are really alien eggs. Galactic laser tag drops players into a fog-filled arena lit by strobe lights, where the sound of sci-fi music masks the footsteps of other players. The nine-hole mini-golf course punishes poorly aimed shots with bumps, secret alleys, and sharp turns. Kids can also work themselves into a frenzy inside Superplay's giant arcade and cool down over a burger from Duffy's Sports Grill.
Lisa Fasnacht loves to see people go outside and be active—so much so that her company's web address is its own call to action, GetOutsideandDoSomething.com. Then there's her company's Facebook page, where she's just as apt to plug excursions with the local Meetup group outside-adventure club as she is her own equipment rentals, which include use of outdoor gear such as bicycles, Trikkes, standup paddleboards, and camping equipment. She also leads guided kayak tours along the Treasure Coast's waterways, giving guests occasional glimpses of wildlife such as eagles suffering from male-pattern baldness.
Inland Ocean isn’t your typical farm. There aren’t any cows grazing the fields or scarecrows baking in the sunlight. Instead, there’s a 400-foot-deep well at the center of the property that pumps pure water into a network of large ponds. The business stocks those ponds with organic, locally raised fish—fish that the staff cares for from the time they’re eggs to the day they shed their training fins and get released into the Inland Ocean waters. Visitors can stop by for a day of catch-and-release fishing or just to feed the fish. They can also pick up dinner after browsing Inland Ocean’s live tanks, all stocked with fresh pompano, redfish, and tilapia that can be cleaned to order.